European River cruise destinations are found throughout Europe. Most rivers flow through more than one country. On a Danube River cruise, you could travel through or along the border of up to ten different countries.
Danube River in Bratislava, Slovakia
By Pudelek (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Most of the other rivers in Europe will take you through more than one country. A couple of exceptions are the Main River in Germany and the Po River in Italy.
Some of the most popular European river cruise destinations are listed in this next section with a brief description. We’ll explore each destination in more detail on its own page.
In Eastern Europe, the river most often thought of and most often traveled is the Danube.
Some of the destinations you might visit or pass through include Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Germany, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia, & Serbia.
In the Czech Republic, you’ll find the Elbe River which also flows through Eastern Germany. A few of the cities you might tour include Dresden, Berlin and Prague.
Wenceslas Square in Prague, Czech Republic
By Peter Stehlik - PS-2507 (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Another popular destination for river cruising is France. Featured rivers for France river cruises are usually the Seine, Saone & Rhone. There are also many canals that offer river barge cruising, and a couple of other rivers starting to gain some popularity are the Dordogne, Garonne and Gironde.
Travelling through France, some of the destinations you might visit include Paris, Normandy, Chalon-sur-Saone, Lyon, Arles and Bordeaux.
More about France.
Germany has several rivers that are featured in European River Cruise packages. The most common rivers for Germany River cruises are the Rhine, Moselle, Main, Danube and Elbe. Some major cities you might see are Munich, Berlin, Nuremberg, Frankfurt and Cochem.
More about Germany.
Cologne Cathedral on the Rhine River
Although, Italy is a popular destination to visit in Europe, river cruising – other than canal cruises – is limited to a small portion of the eastern Po River. The Venetian Lagoon extends from Venice to Chioggia where it joins the Po River. A few of the most visited and popular cities in your itinerary might include Venice, Bolgona and Verona.
In the Netherlands, two of the main waterways that are featured in Dutch river cruises include the Dutch & Belgian Waterways and the Rhine River. A couple of cities visited in The Netherlands are usually Amsterdam and Antwerp.
Portugal & Spain
Not quite as popular as other European river cruise destinations already mentioned, Portugal and Spain are the destinations for Douro River cruises. The river cruise itself extends from the west coast of Portugal to the border of Spain. Some well-known cities you might visit include Lisbon, Porto, and Madrid.
Alcalá Street in Madrid, Spain
Fermín Rodríguez Fajardo [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Russia is a fairly popular European river cruise destination. It actually occupies two different continents - Europe and Asia. The main river in Russia is the Volga River. It flows through Moscow and eventually joins the Neva River in St. Petersburg, Russia. Russian river cruises follow a course between these two cities, which happen to be two of the most popular destinations in Russia. Along the way, river boats cruise through six different bodies of water – actually seven if you include the Ladoga Canal (which connects the Neva and Svir Rivers).
For river cruises only, you won’t catch too much of Switzerland from the river. Trips begin or end in Basel – on the northwestern tip near the border of Germany. There are a few rivers that begin in Switzerland but are not featured in Swiss river cruises. These include the Rhone, Saone & Po rivers. The river that is featured is the Rhine.
Some cities you might visit in addition to Basel are Zurich and Lucerne.
More about Switzerland.
In northern Europe, Ukraine borders Belarus to its north as well as five other countries. The Dnieper River is the featured river in Ukraine river cruises. It flows through central Ukraine, into Belarus and on to Russia. The Black Sea surrounds the southern coast of Ukraine and is an extension of Dnieper River cruises.
Well-known cities you might visit include Kiev, Odessa and Yalta on the coast of Crimea.
AMA Waterways - Destinations: Austria, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Hungary, Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Spain, and Switzerland
AROSA - Destinations: Austria, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Hungary, Netherlands, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, and Switzerland
Avalon Waterways - Destinations: Austria, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Hungary, Netherlands, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, and Switzerland
Croisi Europe - Destinations: Austria, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Spain, and Switzerland
Grand Circle Travel - Destinations: Austria, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Netherlands, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, and Switzerland
Scenic Cruises - Destinations: Austria, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Hungary, Netherlands, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, and Switzerland
Uniworld - Destinations: Austria, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Spain, and Switzerland
Viking River Cruises - Destinations: Austria, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Netherlands, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, and Switzerland
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Lauri Wakefield is a travel writer who specializes in river cruises in Europe and the U.S. Connect with her on Twitter and Google+.
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